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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 9, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

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700,000 who attend public schools in the phoenix area, they now live in fear of sheriff joe's posse. in fact, one principal said that some of her young pupils actually wet themselves during one raid led by sheriff joe's posse. of course, sheriff joe has already been the subject of federal government lawsuits accusing him of racial profiling and numerous other civil rights violations we don't have the time to list. but now sheriff joe tells us that he's the man to protect the children of phoenix. and this is yet another reason for why the vice president's task force must take a comprehensive and considered approach to the issue of gun violence. because when god men do nothing idiots tend to thrive. thanks so much for watching. chris matthews and "hardball" is next.
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out of the way. obama's coming. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. i think we're looking at a new barack obama. you know the expression let reagan be reagan. i think we're seeing barack obama be barack obama. an in your face challenge to the right wing. he's putting in a guy who knows the lessons of vietnam and iraq and putting him out front, making him his point man as he goes into the war of hawkish republicans who count the months between wars as an unwanted time-out. who like nothing more than the next war to fight. meet barack obama two. he's going to run the way he
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believes to do it. i like it. i think there's one guy out there by the way ironically rooting for obama. it's the guy who got used by the hawks, saw his place ruined by their lies. his name is george w. bush. and he's sitting down there in texas watching the same old predictable crowd of war hawks trying good their number one more time. only this time there's someone in the white house wise to their game. joining me now is msnbc plienl analyst david corn from mother jones. and john fehry. you can throw in your ideas. my idea is this. he picked chuck hagel after watching two or three weeks of him trying to be destroyed by the right wing. he let them hang fire. give me your worst about this guy. do it all and i'm going to stick it in your face because i want a guy that thinks like me. he may be a notch or two to my
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left. take it. is that a sign of willing to fight this time? >> i think obama is the type of guy who picks his fights. sometimes he comes out and goes for the bipartisan compromise. doesn't work. he'll flip and do a fight. health care. great example. he tried to cut a deal with republicans, tried too hard according to some people on the left. left out the public option. then when he had no deal, what did he do? he rammed it through using methods that republicans screamed about. he also has this other thing. he's really good at driving them crazy so that they go to the excessive. i want to know what you think about this. i think republicans attacking hagel, war hero kind of a republican, moderate guy. they're going to look terrible in the end. and i think obama basically is good at setting traps. >> they better have some on the other side doing the attacks that somewhat of a war record. your thoughts about hagel. then we'll move on to the crap
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coming. >> personally i like chuck hagel. my opinion is definitely a minority in the senate. it's not just republicans. and i think that -- well, i think he doesn't know the senate well. he's not using his political capital wisely. i think the problem he's got here is he's going to have a set of democrats who do not like chuck hagel, see him as a problem. >> who are they? >> they've already come out. i don't have the specifics. >> give me names. >> schumer. >> schumer's a question mark. i think he'll vote for him. >> we'll see. the thing is he's doing -- >> what you want him to pick john boldin? >> i think he should pick michelle. >> why? first time in your life you heard of her. >> four years ago. she's actually pretty smart. >> i know. and they're all pushing somebody they never heard before. you guys are such frauds. anyway, from the fiscal cliff to the chuck hagel nomination, observers are noting that the president is playing more of a game of offense now.
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here's how politico's glen thrust put it today, quote, after four-plus years of em bitered partisan combat, he views his gop bargaining partners with more than a little contempt. to pass a moderate tax increase before the fiscal cliff deal isn't the best way to deal with the capital is to throw rocks at it. then send joe biden in to clean up the glass. your thoughts? in nominating hagel this week, the president praised his record of independence in the senate and urged his former colleagues to confirm him quickly. take a look. >> chuck represents the bipartisan tradition we need more of in washington. for his independence and commitment to consensus, he's earned the respect of national security and military leaders. i just want to repeat i hope that the senate will act on these confirmations promptly. when it comes to national security, we don't like to leave a lot of gaps.
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between the time that one set of leaders transitions out and another transitions in. so we need to get moving quickly. >> fehry you denied this is a statement naming chuck hagel. he's going to the left on foreign policy. he's going away from the neo-conservative universe. he's not going to be mr. tough guy bully in the schoolyard. it is a statement and means something. >> there's no question that he's making a direct change in policy. and i think the problem for that is it's very controversial with republicans. >> who does john mccain like today besides lindsey? anybody else? >> i don't think so. >> he doesn't like chuck hagel. >> let me disagree with something. this is not a change in policy. the president came in saying he would end the iraq war and the afghan war. he would get rid of the iraq war
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and take the afghanistan war and slow it down, basically downsize it. that's what he's been doing for the last four years despite the neocons screaming about it all the way. chuck haig segel is a continuatn that. when he had to, he stared down petraeus. [ overlapping speakers ] >> you guys have john boldin after saying this is clinton with somehow faking her concussion. >> i didn't say that. the president can have who he wants. i like chuck hagel. if he gets it, i'm fine with it. >> suppose your guy won the race the guy you thought would win. and he put boldin in, the strange mustache guy. would they have put him in there? >> i don't think romney would have put bolton in. >> let's talk about the fiscal cliff. that's behind us. that turkey's behind us. >> we got others. >> we have lived through bill clinton. whatever you say about bill clinton, he knew how to deal
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with these people saying shut down the government. go ahead. i'll have my pizza. you go ahead. >> he'll have other things. >> whatever else you say. what happened? newt looked like a fool. he looked like a fool. so can this president show that kind of guts? first you because you're for him. >> well, i think we're going to see the debt ceiling fight first. >> that's what i mean. >> he feels so passionately -- >> will he tell them to go guest lost? >> in the book i had out last year -- >> what's the name of the book? >> "showdown." the first time he got in his aides said you may have to cut a deal. he said no way. it's not just my presidency, it's future presidencies. we can't let congress hold the white house hostage by not paying their own bills. >> his bills. >> no, listen. >> why didn't he do it? >> well, actually, he did. instead of accepting a six-month extension, he got a year and a half. now he's not going to go back and start negotiating. he may have to at the end of the
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day. >> predictions time. will the president of the united states when we run out of money under the debt ceiling and he's forced to let people lay off, closing down the national monuments and parks, will he let boehner and his crowd on that? >> on the default he's going to be more critical. >> which comes first? >> i think the debt ceiling may come first. >> will he let the government shut down like clinton did? >> i don't think so. because john boehner doesn't want it shut down. >> the tea party guys want it to. >> this come to do you have the votes. and you have to govern. this is what it's all about. the president is responsible for governing. shutting down the government is not governing. i think it hurts the president harder than it hurts anybody. >> gingrich was -- >> in '94 through '96, newt gingrich promised to shut down the government. boehner has vowed to keep it
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open. if the president makes threats, it's going to hurt the president. >> he may not be able to keep a single promise he makes because he can't deliver the votes. >> the president's job is to lead. if he's not going to lead -- >> i think he's got a take a stand. part of the politico cast on the white house is it's a highlight splits of the republican party over many issues. in other words, get them to divide. quote, the ambition to split the republican party asunder is part and parcel of the white house's second term game plan. exposing an unpleasant truth for republicans. there's not much unity within the party. we saw in the last campaign, what unites republicans. obama. they don't like him. i think there is a split. you know it better than we do. whether you'll admit it or not. there is a system between practical governing republicans and renegades who want to shut it down in many ways who go off
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some of theess people. alex jones we saw him the other day. >> and if barack obama decides to be macho man, it's going to unite the republicans and weaken his hand. no doubt. >> that didn't work on the tax cut bill. they were -- >> you know what? >> it's not going to work on immigration. they're going to be divided on that. and they're going to be divided on the debt ceiling. you've got guys like mcconnell and boehner say -- >> you may be right. the restoration of the old northwest republican party under the leadership of chris christie. somebody's got to bring it back which you're part of. you don't act like it sometimes. you're going to be one of them. wouldn't you like to be press secretary to chris christie of the united states? what a job. what's wrong with this picture? here's what a gathering of president obama's top cabinet officials and aides might look like. a lot of people are looking at
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this saying where are the women and minorities? the group that put the president back in the white house. also could the answer to the gop's problems be found somewhere in the swamps of jersey? sounds like the colonial wars. that's a bruce springsteen reference. now one of the biggest fans is chris christie. he may be what they need to break out of their super religious people. here's my question. how does a pragmatist like christie get through a tea party driven primary season. christie wants to save the party from itself. republicans have reintroduced a bill to defund planned parenthood. republicans. if you want to remain a minority party, keep it up. let me finish tonight with a fabulous story about dick nixon and his 100th birthday. this is "hardball," the place for politics. to argue would be rude. nissan altima. with moving-object detection.
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gallup says today democrats are gaining an advantage on republicans. 47% identify themselves as democrats or leaning democrat. 42% say they lean towards the gop. you got the numbers. in 2010 and 2011 the parties with for neck and neck. we'll be right back. what are you doing? nothing. are you stealing our daughter's school supplies and taking them to work? no, i was just looking for my stapler and my... this thing. i save money by using fedex ground and buy my own supplies. that's a great idea. i'm going to go... we got clients in today. [ male announcer ] save on ground shipping at fedex office. at legalzoom, we've created a better place to handle your legal needs. maybe you have questions about incorporating a business you'd like to start. or questions about protecting your family with a will or living trust.
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welcome back to "hardball." as president obama's second term gets underway, he's making changes in his cabinet and senior staff. this front page picture in the "new york times" could not have been a welcomed sight. look at that. accompanied by the headline obama's remade inner circle has an all male look so far. it shows the president in the oval office. all of them in there are male except for valerie jarrett's leg there blocked from sight. she's of course very influential, but look at the
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ratio there. this piece points out 43% of obama's appointees have been women. but following a slew of nominations of white men for high possessions, we've seen them all. today it looks like a lot of white guys getting good jobs. and hilda solis is resigning. going to talk to joan walsh. which is fun in this discussion. and eugene robinson who writes beautiful columns and you did it again on rg3. is there something wrong with this picture, joan walsh? as we look at it. >> yes. obviously there is, chris. it would be a somewhat different picture if valerie had been actually visible in it. so that's a shame. but it's not enough. she is one of the most influential if not the most
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influential person in the president's circle. we've got to give him credit for that. i think it's unfortunate the "times" piece did not talk about the fact he did nominate two women to the supreme court. and the court nominees have been good in terms of diversity. those two things mitigate a bit. however, you're right. that picture -- the general picture you showed before the segment of the top level appointees, john brennan we didn't mention, all being men. it is a change. it is a little disturbing. and the departure of somebody as luminous as hillary clinton, too, makes it feel more stark and more like, you know, really something that should be corrected. and i don't -- i think he will in future appointments. but he doesn't have a chance to correct those top, top appointments. >> your thoughts? you lived through all this. you know what affirmative action looks like. that's not affirmative action. >> no. i preach diversity and will preach it to the president.
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it's a process and you keep working at it. >> what should -- we worked it with the producers today. trying to frame this question. things happen like this organically. people know people. we know how it works. what is it he didn't do that he should have done affirmatively? >> did he borrow, you know, one of romney's binders full of women or something like that? apparently he didn't. diversity, it has to happen on all levels. so you look for somebody to fill these top jobs. what ideally you have done is brought people along, fostered diversity coming up through the ranks. so that when you sit down with the likely suspects and you're going to choose from among the likely suspects, among them are women and minorities. >> so who are the big kahunas in the campaign? i was thinking of people we deal with. i'm trying to think of people who showed their greatness in
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the field and earned battlefield promotions that didn't get them. that's one way of looking at this. also it's moving up to the senate. maybe by the time we're real old, the senate may be close to even. maybe. >> maybe not that old. >> the vice president is still out there. but let's look at the top five cabinet positions. state is the number one job in the world, i think. number two is treasury. number three is defense. and then fourth i guess a.g. all men now. >> right. let's add the name of susan rice to this discussion. because i think we might not even be having this discussion had he picked susan rice and had she had a better shot at being confirmed. a lot of progressives are still upset he didn't fight for her like he's going to have to fight for hagel. i want to leave that question aside. i don't think it has to do with gender. if he got his way, he didn't tell me he wanted to pick her,
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but had he been able to appoint susan rice, this might be a different picture. we might not even be talking about it. >> who did he pass over that could have met the quality test year? you don't have to be exactly the same as john kerry, but in that league. this is what i think you're pointing out about bringing up the foreign team. >> who is it actually? >> all the press, all the guys on the right now are saying flournoy. i don't know her. >> i don't know her either but i'm told she's terrific. >> her resume is dynamite. >> and would have been a great choice. but again, you bring people up and they develop a public profile as well. but to joan's point, i am hearing from people that gee, he'd fight for chuck hagel but he wouldn't for susan rice. now, that's just a function of -- >> you know why he's fighting for hagel? it's a left/right fight and he's
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comfortable with it. i don't know the details of the susan rice thing but he didn't want to go back into it apparently. >> i think there were good reasons for that. but the optics of it are -- >> senator amy closure who has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate next time around from minnesota. the senior senator there. here's what she had in defense of the president had to say. let's listen. >> first of all, let's look at what the president has done here. he had hillary clinton. you can't get a stronger woman in as secretary of state, a stronger person in. you had sebelius, napolitano. two supreme court nominees. both have been women. he does have a strong track record here. not all the nominees have been announced yet. obviously i'd like to see some women in there. >> let me talk to you about how this changes and a president could change. gene said bring up to farm team. but bring up the people to the
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deputy ranks to have them ready for principle positions. most second terms are filled with people who were deputies in the first term. that hasn't always happened. but it's an ideal circumstance. how do you get more women and more minorities in the sort of the clubhouse mentality of politics of people running campaigns, people like tom donland, axelrod. you think donna brazil is a woman who has broken into the boys game at the top. is that a problem of the culture of the boys club or the clubhouse. who was it that called bill clinton's white boys club. it was a problem back then. >> it's always been a problem. you can't except our first black president to solve that problem single handedly in one or two
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terms. i think there have been other complaints that there's a lot of socializing and bonding that goes on in the basketball court and on the golf course. and that women went to valerie jarrett in the first term and said they felt a little bit left out and sidelined. you can't forget about that. he lost somebody at the caliber of a christina romer who was doing progressive things. his inability to hold on to certain women might be a problem too. so i think it is a culture where you really do have to work at it and not do unconscious things that may sideline women. >> you think the golf thing is -- the golf game stuff. bill clinton played hearts with everybody. you know? you're laughing. anyway, he was not gender specific when it came to card games. but i agree. >> card games are good. >> i know golfing has a certain jend for aspect to it. >> i once challenged condoleezza rice on her record of diversity
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at the state department. and basically asked if she had done enough. and she rather angrily replied don't judge me as i find this institution. judge me as i leave it and if i put people in a position to rise and succeed. so i think that's the way we should judge the president's record on diversity. he and his cabinet appointees in their departments practiced diversity to the point where, you know, in the fullness of time let's hope not too much time -- >> you know what our job is here? to keep making noise about this. you got to keep making noise. he can take it. the country cannot take an exclusionary class. i love when you smile. thank you, dear. up next, think the loud mouth we showed you from piers morgan last night was out of the right wing mainstream? think again. here's the front page of the most conservative leaning website in the country.
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that's on guns. hitler equals stalin equals obama. that's what they're accused the guy because he's going to use executive action to get done. they're calling him a totalitarian. the sideshow is next. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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back to "hardball." now to the sideshow. yesterday i showed you a taste i think of what gun control advocates are up against when it comes to the extreme end of the pro-gun side. alex jones talking to piers morgan. >> hitler took the guns. stalin took the guns. castro took the guns. chavez took the guns. i'm here to tell you. 1776 with commence again if you try to take our firearms! >> performance art. after that how long would it take for the right to evoke
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adolph hitler? not very. after suggested executive action could be taken in the issue, here's how the drudge report reacted. quote, white house threatens executive orders on guns. there the pictures are obama with hitler and stalin. so alex jones is not as far from the right wing mainstream on guns you assumed or hoped. next, add this one to the list of why republicans missed the whole election. it turns out we're in for this fight again. >> the amendment i bring to the floor tonight would deny any and all funding to planned parenthood and its affiliates for the rest of the fiscal year. >> that was mike pence leading the charge in 2011 to defund planned parenthood. it did not stop with his exit from congress. enter marsha blackburn. she's on the show a lot. and her kickoff this time to the 113th congress. >> we felt like that, to start
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the year off on the very first day that we would go ahead and get the bill filed. what it does is to defund planned parenthood. it would block their ability to get taxpayer money, and we know that planned parenthood is basically big abortion business. >> there you have it. she's not alone. marsha blackburn's colleague also reintroduced the same bill. planned parenthood president weighed in. quote, they apparently learned nothing from the result of the last election where americans said they do not want politicians dictating women's access to health care. finally seeing this signature on the paper dollar. douglas dillon. now that jack lew is to succeed, the problem is this. the squirrely signature. it's going to show on the paper
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money if he's confirmed. offered up some comparisons to his signature. the crazy straw you get at six flags. a slip of paper you used to test out pens in office max. and a classic. the hair of peanuts character sally brown. there it is too. up next, can anyone save the republican party from itself? the answer may be on the cover of the new "time" magazine. there it is. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. with the spark cash card from capital one,
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cnbc market wrap. a winner quarterly report from alcoa helped the dow today. aig announced it will not join a
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lawsuit against the government over the terms of the financial crisis bailout. the insurance giant says it thanks america for its support. and facebook shares hit $30 for the first time in months. and that's it for cnbc. we are first in business worldwide. now back to chris and "hardball." ♪ welcome back to "hardball." up, up, up. chris christie's stock is rising in jersey after befriending the president and taking on his own party in hurricane sandy relief money. take a look at these numbers. you don't see these in politics much. a 73% approval rating among new jersey voters. 73%. even higher approval among independents. and 62% among democrats. when you look at traditional
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democratic voting blocks, christie's at 70% approval among women. 69% among non-white voters. 62% in homes with a public employee. and he may be the man to get the gop back on track. if his party will allow him to go all the wa i to the nomination for president. my colleague joe scarborough has a hell of a show. he made it himself. he built this place like mo green. it's all yours on the "morning joe." i appreciate you coming back and working a double shift tonight. your sense of your party that you grew up with and won office down in florida, how does he fit in 2013 politics looking forward to 2016? >> i think he fits really well. like henry loose, the founder of time magazine, was a believer of the great history.
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i'm in faimp of the man of politics. in a way that baldwin couldn't. only margaret thatcher could have done what margaret thatcher did. and turning to reagan. instead of connolly who was able to do what he did. and bill clinton in 1992. took a democrat party who lost five out of the last six elections and turned that party around. right now the republican party is absent strong leadership. that's why we've seen the party go in the direction it's going. you know, i think it's fascinating that the past year and a half, past two years has even made me long for the days of george w. bush. because you remember what bush did. i mean, when trent lott, a good friend of mine said something he shouldn't have said about strom thurmon, they moved quickly get k him out as majority leader.
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they did not allow other extremist statements without punishing them. so i think chris christie if he keeps providing strong leadership in new jersey actually shows republicans you can stand up to the extremists. you can work with democrats in government. and you can be rewarded for it in a big way. >> let's take a look. here's chris christie talking to you this morning. he knows how to get things done and that means compromising with democrats. let's watch him explaining himself to you this morning. >> i'm in a divided government. i have a democratic senate and democratic assembly. what that means is i'm not going to get everything i want. i wake up every morning knowing even though i think i'm right i'm not getting everything i want. i think of what is important to me and what i can convince them of. >> let's talk history. it seems to me if you look back in 1940 in that tricky time. you talk about the months going
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into world war ii. we hadn't been hit in pearl harbor yet, but we knew the nazis were bad guys. along comes the republican party. in five dies in philadelphia a guy named wendell welky beat robert taft, that's his name -- dewey. whole bunch of them. says we're going to have to go to war. i'm not going to play no man on this. he wins the nomination. he gives roosevelt the best fight of his career. if he had been running against anybody else, he would have been president for a couple terms. >> i agree with you completely. and you get so many republicans right now talking about the example of ronald reagan. ronald reagan was constantly skewered by people on his right from the very beginning. even when he was governor of california, william f. buckley had to write a stirring defense of ronald reagan. reagan refused to shut down the
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government. he decided he had to raise taxes in california because he worked with democrats as well. that's one of the great frustrations i've had as conservative as i am. i've had young republicans on my show that have come on and said they will not vote for a revenue increase, a tax increase no matter what. they won't compromise on guns no matter what. they won't compromise with democrats no matter what. and i have to politely remind them that we actually inherited for better or worse -- i think for better -- the government of james madison. the constitution of james madison. we've got checks and balances. ronald reagan understood that. if that's who we republicans want to claim as our hero, let's take a closer look at the record of reagan. on taxes, on budgets, i would say on assault weapons especially right now for a republican party that seems to be veering, i think, dangerously close to territory post-newtown,
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that could cost them a lot of swing seats. we have got to learn what buckley always told us to do. look at the realities in front of us. and deal with those realities in our politics. >> we're sort of dop l gangers you and i. i have a jealous interest in this. i want to see two parties i can choose from. i don't think i've got them right now. but i grew up in a state of pennsylvania where we had people like bill scranton and tom ridge i could have voted for.pragmati. they may not have been in bed with labor some people like them to be, but they were good leaders. i think the country is better off having people like that before christie. we grew up with the northeast packed with people like ed brooke and people like that across. you're losing them all though. olympia snow is leaving. >> here's the thing though.
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chris christie is no susan collins. christie isn't even christine todd whitman. chris christie is a guy i could have served with in the hard core wing of the 1994 republican congress. he would have voted with me 100% of the time on these contract with america issues. he wouldn't have gone soft on some of the things that let's say a more moderate republican would go soft on. which is fine. but christie is a hard core jeb bush, joe scarborough conservative. and the fact that some people in washington, d.c. are angry at this guy because he did what any governor would have done. what jeb bush did when bill clinton came to the state of florida when we were having trouble, jeb bush worked with the man who beat his father in an ugly 1992 campaign. because jeb bush -- you put the interest of florida first. that's what christie is doing. i'm telling you.
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republicans have been taught a lesson in 2012. i hope it doesn't take 2013 and 2014 to drive that home. we're looking right now as the democrats of 1984. >> i don't like the term san francisco democrats. that was the knock on the city for the orientation of some of the inhabitants. >> i love san francisco, but that convention, you guys were owned by special interests. >> i never had more fun at a convention in my life. thank you, joe scarborough. i think you're a smart guy. and congratulations and thanks for the christmas present. that is great. and it's discreet the "morning joe" part. i can flaunt that thing. up next, quiz. what president established the epa, was more liberal than obama on health care, supported the equal rights amendment, and started affirmative action all together.
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would you believe, richard nixon? and this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness?
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eliminate, of course. in his later years he was an adviser to bill clinton. president clinton eulogized him at his funeral in 1994. let's listen. >> for the past year, even in the final weeks of his life, he gave me his wise counsel. one thing in particular left a profound impression on me. though this man was in his ninth decade, he had an incredibly sharp and vigorous and rigorous mind. he made mistakes and they like his accomplishments are part of his life and record. but the enduring lesson of richard nixon is that he never gave up being part of the action and passion of his times. >> for more on richard nixon's very complicated and in many ways dark legacy, we've got two men who studied him extensively.
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dr. the author of the president's club, inside the world's most exclusive fraternity. let's just start with i love these relationships in politics. i love to write about them and think about them. what was the relationship between dick nixon, republican, scandalized by his own hand and bill clinton was coming on as a young, fresh face out of the ivy league schools. >> nixon really wanted to get to know clinton when he came in. he said call me, i can help you. but then he did start calling. and he's had this sort of relationship talking about russia and chooip thina, but al talking, chris, about how to do this job. what do you eat? how much time do you spend in meetings? where did you sit? where would you like to work? and clinton found nixon's advice useful and he was thrilled to be back in the loop after all of these years in exile. >> yeah, douglas, my buddy, it seems like he did for nixon what
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harry truman did for hoover. brought him back into public life after his banishment. there were reasons for that. bill clinton had been beaten up by the press quite a bit himself. kicked around about jennifer flowers and on and on. so he sympathized a little bit. and, also, it was just the right thing to do to extend a hand to richard nixon. and he did. monocan crowley is a fox news analyst who used to work for nixon is his last years. she works extensively about that friendship that developed in his last few years. he braught in dean atkinson to help him right a majority speech. dean's school of cowardly containment. so what nixon did to atchison, he did again. >> i have a bunch of interesting
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questions. reagan and nixon, both california conservatives should have gotten along. they didn't, did they? >> they had different ideas about what it meant to be a republican. nixon, kind of an old fashioned, northeast republican. reagan this new generation. a little more libertarian. he does revenue-sharing and kanszer research and reagan comes in and says government isn't for doing all of these things. >> you know, i want to get to both ways on this, the moral issue here. nixon's tapes are absolute lly gree jous. they're terrible. they're just all through the tapes. they're strange, even, the comments he makes about ethnic groups. they're almost ludicrously funny. because they're ridiculous. and my question is, is he just a man who talked to different people depending on who they were? did he just go like reid shaken
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by the wind? is he like a jewish friend with lane garment or arthur burns or kissenger? did he speak one way and then talk differently to him? and that's pretty pathetic. that's my reading of the guy. >> you're spot on with it, chris. exactly. and there's a guy named luke nichter, texas a&m who's meticulously transcribed all of these tapes. you can see that the devil was brought out of nixon by h.r. holdaman. whenever they're there, the dark side of nixon comes out. when you see other parts of the tape to listen to nixon an nato affairs on dealing with the apollo program, he comes off as quite wise and shrewd. so you're spot on. >> he would never talk like that with bill clinton. or reagan, even. >> bill sapphire once described nixon as a layer cake. eight, nine layers thick. there's the conservative person. a loaner.
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a realist, overseas. a hater at some level. and, also, a really good poker player. so he was a much more complicated piece of work. he had been your average president and most of them are complicated. >> a good part of them were just spooky. >> well, at some point, he had just been a striver and a scraper. >> the world of french, the chinese love this guy. the french love him. maybe that's like jerry lewis. maybe it doesn't say a lot, but it is strange. you know that, douglas? we look at him in a particular way. he's ours. anyway, thank you, happy birth day, dick, where ever you are and richard nixon. i am not a nixon hater. it's much more complicated. thank you, gentleman. the name of your book? president's club. your book, crime cutting. hell of a book. when we return, let me finish with a tale of two presidents. you're watching "hardball." the place for politics. i was spotting, but i had already gone through menopause.
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today is richard nixon's birthday, as i said, his hund d hundredth. let me tell you a story that's pretty fabulous. back in april, 1947, two men were just back from world war ii in the south pacific were sharing an overnight train compartment where you have one bunk on top of another bunk. one was a wealthy, young democrat from boston, a real war hero. one of the wealthiest men in the koun dri.


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